Synopsis of Help

Written by Brandee Mode

Buffy, Xander and Dawn each hide in a coffin, wait for the funeral home to close up for the night. After the employees leave, they get out and soon after a woman in a coffin wakes up in vampire face. Buffy stakes her and closes the lid. Opening credits start.

At the high school, Buffy talks to a few different students about the problems their having. The scene switches to Willow and Xander walking through a park. They discuss how she is worried about losing control and going evil again. They arrive at their destination and Xander waits as Willow visits Tara's grave by herself. The scene switches back to Buffy and the troubled students. The last one is a blonde girl named Cassie. She hasn't been doing her homework because she believes she is going to die on Friday. She mentions that there will be a lot of coins and she knows Buffy will try to help. She mentions Buffy's "nice shirt" and hopes it doesn't get stained. Cassie denies that she's planning suicide but doesn't really want to talk about it. Cassie hurries to leave, despite Buffy's attempts to get her to stay and talk.

[At this point, Buffy seems to think another student is going to kill Cassie.]

Buffy goes to Principal Wood and tells him about it and he says they will do locker searches. Buffy spills coffee on her shirt and realizes that Cassie had predicted it. She quickly finds Dawn and says "has a job" for Dawn. Then we see Dawn approach Cassie and Mike with an excuse about missing a homework assignment. Mike leaves and Dawn sits down. Cassie quickly realizes Dawn is "the counselor's little sister". That night, Buffy, Willow and Xander do some research on Cassie. They find she has a web-site with depressing poetry on it. Willow says that's normal though. Buffy and Xander leave to speak with Cassie's father. They basically accuse him of abusing Cassie. After he tells them he won't have custody of Cassie this weekend, they quickly leave. On the way to the car, Buffy and Xander run into Cassie and again accuse her of planning suicide. She finally convinces them that she wants to live by listing off all the things she wants to do but can't because of her impending death.

We get a brief scene of several people in red, hooded robes. They walk in a circle holding candles and chanting. There is a picture of Cassie in the center of the circle, which one of them lights on fire. Buffy goes to Spike in the basement and asks him for help but he has another *episode* of craziness. He talks about hurting "the girl" and says that "William is a bad man". Spike begins hitting himself in the head but Buffy stops him and asks what he did. Spike says "I hurt you, Buffy." When Buffy can't get him to talk about Cassie, she leaves.

In the school hallway, Buffy starts to question Mike but realizes he is not that upset about Cassie refusing to go to the dance with him. He plans to ask Dawn instead. Principal Wood is doing a locker search nearby and several coins fall out of a locker. Buffy finds the student assigned to that locker and questions him. She threatens him and he admits that he knows "some guys" who want to "mess with" Cassie. At the end of the school day, Dawn and Cassie leave together. But a student named Peter distracts her with a question and when Dawn turns back, Cassie is gone.

Somewhere in the school, Peter holds a cleaver against Cassie. Her hands are tied and she has duct tape across her mouth. Peter explains that they needed a sacrifice for a demon who will bring them "infinite riches" and since she's been talking a lot about death lately, everyone will assume she committed suicide. As Peter starts the ritual, we learn that Buffy has been there all along, disguised in a red robe. She quickly takes the cleaver from Peter and calls them lame for trying to summon a lame demon. Peter points out that the "lame demon" is standing behind her. Buffy throws the cleaver into the demon's chest but he just pulls it out and tosses it to the floor. Peter takes the cleaver and moves toward Cassie. The demon has Buffy pinned to the floor with its foot. Suddenly Spike is there with a torch and forces the demon to back off. Buffy takes the torch and shoves it into the demon, setting him on fire. Spike hits Peter a few times, grabbing his head after each hit. Spike removes the tape from Cassie's mouth and uses the cleaver to cut the ropes on her wrists. Cassie looks at Spike and quietly says...

CASSIE: "She'll tell you. Someday, she'll tell you."

The charred demon bites Peter on the shoulder then falls back to the floor and explodes into ashes. Peter begs for help because he's bleeding but Buffy just tells him that her "office hours are 10 to 4". One the way out, Buffy tells Cassie that people can "make a difference". Cassie touches Buffy's hair and says "you will" but then Cassie gets a look of surprise on her face and falls to the floor. Buffy tries to help her, but Cassie is already dead.

At Buffy's house, Buffy explains that Cassie's mother told her their family has a "history of heart irregularities". Buffy feels like a failure. Dawn tells Buffy it isn't her fault, "sometimes you can't help." The show ends with Buffy sitting at her desk, looking out at the students in the hallway, walking past the office.

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